So we (finally) come to the final part in this five part series, where in parts one, two, three and four, I’ve explained how focusing on compatibility, type, and ‘common’ interests is pretty dangerous when you have poor relationship habits that are being driven by some unhealthy ideas about yourself, love, and relationships, and failure to look at the big picture and put all of these things into context.
In constantly chasing a ‘feeling’, we put up with some pretty crap behaviour from men in the name of feeling good for what ultimately ends up being for moments or brief periods of time. You get a taste of what you think is the good stuff and then you keep trying to get him to cook up the same recipe with you again so you can taste it and extend the high.
But really, even though you’ve had some times of feeling good, or even great, invariably, you more often than not, feel pretty awful and you spend your time trying to make yourself be compatible with someone else’s bullsh*t. This is in the hope that you’ll get that feeling, be validated, and get the relationship you want.
In chasing the feeling, even when a relationship ends, we then try to recapture it with our ‘type’, hoping that ‘this time’ things will be different. Be we end up with same man, different, dodgy package.
We then wonder why things are not working out or how we can possibly be expected to start something with someone else when we had so many things in common.
We look for common interests so that we can validate our reasons for staying invested, for trying to make ourselves compatible with them, and to keep pursuing the same type.
Clinging to compatibility, type, and common interests is about justifying why we are continuing with these men and trapped in inaction.
Yep, this is all about The Justifying Zone. As explained in my ebook, this is:
“….the slippery slope we go to when we sleep with a guy too soon or before we have really assimilated whether he is ideal relationship material and then we hang in there as a justification for sleeping with him in the first place.”
We claim common interests with men so that we can validate our decision to stay emotionally/sexually invested with them and to keep pursuing the relationship that we know ultimately, we’re not going to get.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t mean anything if you claim to have a love of music, healthy living, sports, travelling, reading intellectual books, watching foreign films, cooking Asian French fusion food, no smoking, going to church, dressing up in rubber, dancing till the break of dawn, or whatever you think you have in common with him.
If you and your man do not share basic fundamentals that yield two people with both of their feet in the relationship that share the common interest of loving, caring about, respecting, and trusting one another, no matter how many ‘interests’ you claim to have in ‘common’, you don’t have things in common where it counts.
I am telling you right now that the interests that you place so much value in as a reason for being interested in him and sticking around, are overvalued.
In the meantime, you’re undervaluing the things that do count – values that give you a man with integrity that respects your boundaries, and wants to be a decent guy in a decent relationship.
These common interests are superficial and they don’t add any substance to your relationship because when it’s not working because some of the fundamentals are missing, your relationship doesn’t hold up well to scrutiny.
The worst thing is that many women lose themselves in men so they actually don’t genuinely know what their common interests are because they’ve spent so much time morphing and bending to men.
In trying to make ourselves compatible with the ‘types’ that we pursue, we’ve adapted to suit in the hope that this one guy would finally accept us and validate us. There we are thinking we’re made because he makes us feel excited and he runs marathons, and he likes talking about politics, yet he’s resisting being with us.
Men who are genuinely interested in you and forging a relationship don’t burn up the bulk of their energy trying to resist you.
If he’s resisting you, it’s not because you have so much in common that it’s too hot for him to handle; it’s because whatever you do have in common, it’s not enough to keep him there.
It may appear that he’s playing hard to get but he may not be trying to be caught.
But there’s an even bigger, scarier thing about common interests:
What you think you both have in common, may not actually be the common interest between you both.
A lot of the whole compatibility, type, and common interests issue is ‘assumed’ and ‘projected.
We decide we have a lot in common with these guys and we overvalue it, but the fact that the relationship does not work out shows that they don’t value these commonalities. Often, many women discover that the common interests that they thought were so important to the relationship and made them so compatible with the guy in question, weren’t actually important to him.
Often these men value different things so your common ground that you think you both share is not actually his common ground, so you’re standing alone.
You’re also standing alone because in projecting your idea of him and what he could be, and your ideas about the commonalities you share, you neglect to examine the actual commonalities that you don’t share.
Yes, we’re back to illusions, stepping back into reality, and looking at the bigger picture and going beyond the ‘moments’ and the bits of him that you like.
You struggling with him to get him to be the man you want or to give you the relationship you want is about trying to get him on the same common ground as you which means you really can’t have that much in common.
He’s just not got that much in common with you, and even if he does, it’s not enough of what matters.
As I said on my post last year on common interests, it’s not up to you to decide what you both have in common because for a start, you shouldn’t have to force the issue and if what you had in common was good for the relationship, it wouldn’t be floundering.
What people who are in poor relationships have in common is fears, inaction, overvaluing the wrong things, undervaluing the important things, and beliefs about themselves, love, and relationships that impact negatively on our personal happiness and success in relationships.
You’d be amazed how when you address what’s been driving your relationship patterns and opt out of the misery and inaction, you discover that you don’t have very much in common any longer with Mr Unavailables and assclowns.
I actually bumped into a reader a few days ago who had got in touch with me in her darkest moments with an assclown Mr Unavailable who she’d thought was her type, had tried to be compatible with, and thought they had a lot in common. Months later, she’s happy, has got back her figure after being skeletal, and dropped him and cut him out of her life. In hindsight she recognises that the man drove her mad and to despair and she had nothing in common at all with him. She’s moved on with someone else who is very different, who shares some interests, but more importantly treats her really well and has never given her reason to hate herself and her life.
At the end of the day, if loving a man means you can’t love you and you have to find ridiculous commonalities to give you a reason to stick around, it’s not worth it because you’ll lose yourself and most of us discover in time that we’re not compatible with pretending that this is as good as it gets. Oh we have a damn good go at trying but life rapidly becomes a tedious battle of pain, disillusionment, disappointment, and despair as we try to reconcile the illusion with the reality…and fail, not because we’re failures but because we spend too much time trying to put the proverbial square peg into a round hole.